The Importance of Oil
When it comes to resources, oil ranks as one of the world's most
precious, sought-after commodities. It shapes lives, governments,
and nations. There is hardly a way that oil does not touch our daily lives.
Nevertheless, for all the vast importance placed upon oil, little emphasis
is given to the body's need for oil. Much like a finely-built machine, the
body requires oil to function properly. Thus, understanding the
importance and nature of oil becomes imperative for the achievement
of optimum health.
Research proves that not all oils are friendly to the body. There are
healthy oils and not-so-healthy oils. Technically speaking, oils are fats
that are derived from mostly plant sources. Many kinds of fats/oils exist:
saturated fats, monosaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, transfatty acids,
triglycerides, hydrogenated oils, partially dehydrogenated oils, and
more. Without a doubt, a controversy over oils and fats has errupted
lately, and wars are currently being waged concerning what fat/oil is
good or bad. While the debate continues, the fact remains that certain
fats are essential for the life of the body. Without proper and regular
'oiling', cells die, body systems shut down, degeneration (disease) sets
in, and death results.
To build a healthy body it is imperative to consume healthy fats.
The best fats for this job are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that, by
definition, are essential for the care and maintainence of the
body. The most common healthy fats are called linoleic acid (LA)
and alpha-linoleic acid (LNA) or Omega 6 and Omega 3
respectively. Omega 6(LA) is a polyunstaturated fat, while Omega
3(LNA) is sometimes called a superunsaturated fat.They are
considered "good" fats because they support the cardiovascular,
reproductive, immune, and nervous systems, performing a host of
tasks that are remarkable at best. In addition to regulating nearly all
systems of the body, essential fatty acids
- Control or modulate a vast number of cellular processes
- Regulate a large number of mechanisms including increasing the
fluidity of cell membranes and improving their "gate-keeping"
abilities. These mechanisms help keep toxins out and bring
nutrients into your cells.
Influence the activation of cell genes
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Help keep blood vessels dilated
- Regulate and/or lower blood pressure
- Help build a strong immune system
- Increase memory function
- Help fight many diseases, including diabetic neuropathy
- Aid in prevention of arthritis
- Reduce the growth rate of breast cancer
- Regulate your heart, gastrointestinal, and kidney functions
- Lower cholesterol, arteriosclerosis & blood clot formation
(thereby heart disease and stroke)
- Help skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
- Help improve circulation
- Help supply life-giving oxygen to body cells
EFAs are imperative for the body's oxidation process. This process is
the most imporant living process in the body. It is the burning of food to
produce the energy required for life. EFAS attract oxygen and pull it into
the body , then hold it in cell memebranes where the oxygen acts as a
barrier to viruses, fungi, bacteria, and other foreign organisms. LA helps
produce red blood pigment (hemoglobin), while both LA and LNA help
make oxygen available to tissues.
EFAs also absorb sunlight, providing vital nutrients to body cells. Their
absorption of light energy increases about a thousand-fold their ability
to react with oxygen. LNA is five times more sensitive to destruction
EFAs are involved with producing life energy in the body from food
substances and moving that energy throughout the body.
EFAs govern growth, vitality, and mental state of the body.
EFAs are sensitive substances. They do not like light, air, and heat.
When exposed to these elements, LA and LNA undergo an adverse
change in their molecular structure, rendering them potentially ineffective,
if not harmful to the body.
LNA produces soft, smooth skin, increases stamina, speeds healing,
increase vitality, and brings a feeling of calmness. LNA also reduces
inflammation, water retention, platelet stickiness, and blood pressure.
It inhibits the growth of tumors, enhances some immune functions,
reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, and reverses premenstrual
syndrome in some women. LNA also kills malaria and have been
used successfully to treat staph infections. LNA is required for brain
development and deficiency during fetal development and early infancy
can result in permanent learning disabilities.
Sources of EFAs
Though EFAs are, by definition, essential for a healthy body, the body
cannot manufacture them. Therefore they must be supplied through diet.
The most common sources of EFAs are hemp seeds/oil, chia seeds,
flax seed/oil, and pumpkin seeds/oil. These oils have the highest
concentration of LA and LNA as indicated:
Content Fatty Acid Composition (%total oil)
Oil Omega 3(LNA) Omega 6(LA) Hemp 20 60 Chia 30 40 Flax 58 14 Pumpkin 0-15 42-57 Walnut 5 51 Safflower 75 Sunflower 65 Grape 71 Sesame 45 Olive 8 Coconut 3
According to Udo Erasmus, author of Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill
and world authority on oils, oils fall into the following categories:
Best oils: hemp, flax, pumpkin, walnut
Bad oils: cottonseed oil, canola oil, peanut
Good oils: safflower, sunflower, sesame, rice bran, evening primrose,
borage, black currant
Mediocre oils: corn, grape
Oils for the skin: almond, apricot, prune, neem,
Seeds/Oils that can be heated: coconut, palm, palm kernel, cocoa,
With all due respects to Udo's rating of oils, I add a warning about
hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. In processing, these oils
are heated to temperatures in excess of 400 degrees and then infused
with nickel which renders the oil highly toxic. Because of their 'plastic'
consistency, they act like glue in the body, clogging and suffocating
cells. The liver cannot filter out these harmful oils. Thus hydrogenated
oils are a health hazard of high degree. Like canola,they are used in
most processed foods because the oils are readily available and,
most of all, cheap. Once again public welfare is sacrificed for the sake
of profit. If you value your life, stay away from hydrogenated and partially
EFAs food tips
Consume EFA-rich foods by eating them raw as opposed to cooked
or heated. Raw nuts are a better source than roasted nuts. Don't use
flaxseed oil for cooking, and never re-use any type of oil.
Replace hydrogenated fats (like margarine), cholesterol-based fats
(butter/dairy products), and poly-saturated fats (common cooking oils)
with healthy EFA-based fats when possible. For example, instead of
margarine or butter on your warm (not hot) vegetables, use flaxseed
and/or extra virgin olive oils with salt. (This tastes similar to margarine,
as margarine is just hydrogenated oil with salt.)
Sprinkling hemp seed or flaxseed meal on vegetables adds a slightly
nutty taste. Whole flaxseeds are usually passed through the intestine,
absorbing water only and not yielding much oil. Also, it's best not to use
huge amounts of flaxseed in its meal (ground seed) form, as it contains
phytoestrogens. The oil is much lower in phytoestrogens.
In many recipes calling for vegetable shortening, replace the
shortening with extra virgin olive oil, coconut or grape seed oil and a
pinch of healthy salt often yields similar results.
Adding flaxseed and/or an omega-rich oil to salads instead of refined,
'supermaket-type' salad oil is another healthy change.
Coconut or grapeseed oils are best to use for a cooking oil as they
withstand high heat well.
An important note about EFAs
LA and LNA must be converted into EFA derivatives in order for the body
to utilize their nutritional value. This conversion requires vitamin B3, B6,
C plus the minerals magnesium and zinc. Thus a deficiency in these
essential nutrients can compromise, negate or mimic degenerative
symptoms of EFA deficiency. A condition that is a pseudo-EFA
deficiency could be fatal even if sufficient EFA supplementation exists.
View EFA deficiency symptoms here.
Purchasing and storing EFAs
Ideally, Omega-rich oils should be kept in dark bottles/jars and away
from the sunlight and heat. Purchase cold-pressed/unrefined oils only,
since refined oils have been exposed to levels of high heat during
processing which compromises, if not destroys, their nutritional value.
For the sake of freshness, watch product expiration date. EFAs should
be kept refrigerated, especially after opening. They may be frozen for
long-term storage without compromising their nutrient content.
Learning about and living with EFAs
Since adopting the Hallelujah lifestyle in 1996, we have been
incorporating omega-rich oils into our diet. Learning about EFAs and
experiencing their wonderful health benefits has been a privilege and
joy. We began our EFA journey by using flax oil almost exclusively only
to discover that doing so has a down-side. We began having skin
problems which is one of the LA deficiency symptoms. Since
discovering the health benefits associated with industrial hemp, we
began using hemp oil. Happily, our skin problems disappeared, and
we have been using hemp oil almost exclusively to date.
Nevertheless, we understand that one oil may not be the ultimate
answer. This fact is evidenced by a recent article written by Olin Idol
in the November 3, 2009 Hallelujah Health Tip #624. The content of
this article presents fish oil as being the recommended source of EFAs.
Whereas the departure of Hallelujah Acres from its long-standing vegan
stance surprised me, I respect those involved in this decision since I
know their position is based upon careful research. Olin Idol's article,
Is there a place for fish oil in the Hallelujah Diet?, is worth reading.
Personally, it is a confirmation that not one oil, including hemp oil,
contains the ultimate LA and LNA balance. Thanks to Hallelujah Acres'
diligent research, we have begun to incorporate Finest Pure Fish
Oil into our daily diet. After just a short time of use, we have noticed
positive benefits: softer skin, less joint inflammation, and greater inner
strength. Read Olin Idol's article here:
Purchase Finest Pure Fish Oil here and use PIN#407
When I was young, I recall that my mother would line up us children
to give us a teaspoon of cod liver oil each day. I never understood
why we had to go through this revolting exercise each day other than
my mother's insistent, 'It is good for you!' excuse. How could something
with such a horrible taste be good for you, I reasoned. Nevertheless, I
now understand (years later) that my siblings and I were being given
our daily dose of EFAs. Somewhere along the way, however, the daily
routine was dropped only to be resumed later in life, thanks to the
education we received from Hallelujah Acres. We are grateful to know
the difference in oils and enjoy the benefits of EFAs that not only taste
good but pay big dividends in terms of health. EFA supplementation
is a fact of life as well as a way of life.
Throughout my experience as a Hallelujah Acres Health Minister,
I have been privileged to educate myself on the wonders of the
human body that proves the excellent workmanship of YHVH Almighty.
Scripture says that we are 'fearfully and wonderfully made', and
the more I research issues of health to help others as well as
myself, I am awed by the marvels of the body temple. In my quest
to discover more about the 'secrets' of life (in this case the nature
and characteristics of oils) Udo Erasmus' book, 'Fats that Heal, Fats
that Kill has become one of my library favorites. Though scientific in its
approach, it is understandable for the layman. I highly recommend this
book for gaining personal insight into the importance of oils, a
wonderful world indeed..
In closing, I believe that EFAs are a gift of YHVH, the wonders of which
few have yet to discover. Sadly, many Americans know nothing about
EFAs much less incorporate them into their daily diets. This sad fact
is evidenced by the rising incidence of sickness and disease across
the country. Nutrient deficiency runs rampid, being the underlying
cause of most health problems and even death. This ought not to be.
Life, like oil, is a precious commodity. Nevertheless, life is sometimes
not cherished as much as oil that is pulled from the ground. We must
protect our human resource by re-examining our values and making
changes that are both life-giving and lasting. Therefore consider an oil
change in your life. Care for your body the way YHVH intended.
Live to enjoy the wonders of EFAs everyday!
Reference and recommended reading:
Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill- Udo Ersmus
Omega-3 Oils; A practical Guide- Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix. US: Avery, 1996.
The Omega-3 Connection-Andrew L. Stoll, MD. New York: Fireside, 2001.